At last week’s regular city council meeting, council members heard construction updates, made board appointments, and approved a new alcoholic beverage license request.
Matthew Barrow, with P.C. Simonton and Associates, presented to council the quarterly update on construction projects in Hinesville. There were five major projects that began or are projected to begin this year. Projects currently under instruction include: the water tanks raising and well improvements; the 2018 Local Maintenance Improvement Grant resurfacing project, which incorporates multiple roads into one major project; and the Azalea Street Phase IIIA.
The water tank raising consists of two different contracts, Barrow said. Contract A is 85 percent complete, and contract B is nearly 97 percent complete. The estimated final completion dates for both tanks to be completely raised is Feb. 15 for contract A and Jan. 31 for contract B, Barrow said. The General Stewart Way tank, the SR 196 tank, and the Shaw Road tank were all raised approximately 35-feet. The raised tanks were part of a project to improve water pressure throughout parts of Hinesville’s water system.
The 2018 LMIG resurfacing is about five percent complete, as of Jan. 17, Barrow said. The project is funded by Georgia Department of Transportation, SPLOST (Special Local Option Sales Tax) and a local match of funds, he said. The original contract received a change order, when council approved a request from the City of Flemington to include the addition of Shawn Court in the contract to be paved, according to the Jan. 17 council meeting book. All costs associated with the paving will be reimbursed by the City of Flemington.
The Azalea Street Phase IIIA has been under construction for 120 days, and is five percent complete. The Community Development Department has been working on this project, Barrow said. The clearing process has been finished, and as of Jan. 21, the installation of water and sewer lines were set to begin, he continued.
“We anticipate another two months of actual construction,” Barrow said. “That’s when it’ll be turned over to the CDD to begin soliciting builders to build houses.”
A proposed policy to establish investigative, design, construction and notification requirements for water system connections larger than two inches was brought as an informative item for council. Action is expected to be taken at the next council meeting on Feb. 7. Paul Simonton of P.C. Simonton said the policy is meant to deter and completely avoid interruptions in water service when water connections are made to new commercial and residential developments.
According to the council book, it was discovered that proper planning wasn’t being performed during planning stages of developments to avoid water service interruptions. The policy provides a standard procedure to investigate systems properly, Simonton said, and determine if the connection should be made as a dry tap or wet tap.
“The wet tap means there will be no interruption in service,” Simonton said. “The dry tap would mean valves would be turned off so the connection could be made, which would put some people out of service.”
Stipulations of the policy are that ESG, the city’s public works department, will make the actual connection; the contractor or developer shall pay for all materials required to make the connection; and in the case of interruption of service, ESG will make all necessary notifications, Simonton continued. The policy was closely constructed and drafted with contributions from ESG, P.C. Simonton, and the city manager, Simonton added.
In other business, council approved a request from the Liberty County Chamber of Commerce for the use of polycarts at four different events in 2019. The O.D. Crabhouse submitted a new application for an alcoholic beverage license. The Class II license allows the owner Hong Chen to sell beer, wine and liquor on premises. There are time restrictions on the license, however, due to the proximity of the restaurant to a residential area. Alcohol can be sold and served until 11 p.m. Monday through Sunday. Council approved unanimously.
Council made the last and final appointment to the Hinesville Area Metropolitan Planning Organization’s Citizens Advisory Committee. The remaining appointment expired December 31, 2018, according to City Manager Ken Howard. The appointments to the board are for a two-year term. Council elected Malcolm Williams to the last position.